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Re-facing a jointer fence

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Forum topic by Stewbot posted 09-11-2015 03:16 AM 992 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Stewbot

195 posts in 550 days


09-11-2015 03:16 AM

I picked up this 6” jointer off craigslist recently, its made by a company called Transpower (ps. if googling “transpower” make sure to specify further such as “Transpower tools” etc. otherwise the search results will be a bit different from your desired content…). Anyway, given my small budget this was one of the better options I had been seeing. So far it is seeming to run well and has a flat infeed and out feed table surface, the fence on the other hand is a little off. The cantilever style fence seems to twist a bit, and I cannot seem to get it 90 degrees to the table along the entire length of the fence. I’ve tweaked it to the point of a happy medium and it is perfectly square to the table where it meets the cutter head.

The measurements are about: (facing the jointer) .02” gap (far right side of Infeed table-gap at top of fence) to 0” (90 degrees at the cutter head) to .02” (far left end of outfeed table-gap at bottom of fence). The quality of cut I am getting is not too bad in regards to when I edge join two boards that I’ve run through the jointer, but I’m not getting a perfect 90 degree angle from face to edge on a single board.

Being that this is my first jointer I do not have much to compare it to, but do these measurements seems pretty bad, or tolerable?

Also, I was wondering if it is common to re-face the jointer fence with MDF or something of the like, shimming where needed to get a perfectly square fence across the entire length? I know that I can see about getting the fence machined but it’s not really in the budget and doing that would probably cost more than the jointer itself.

Any advice or input would be appreciated, thanks.

-- Hoopty scoop?


16 replies so far

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Shadowrider

183 posts in 675 days


#1 posted 09-11-2015 11:41 AM

A cylinder head/engine machine shop may be able to do it. It might not cost that much.

Depending on how “handy” you are it’s possible to work it down with something like a large Norton Crystolon stone. But you would need a machinist’s straight edge and they aren’t exactly cheap and it’s a slow process if it’s truly bowed along it’s length. But it is possible. Try to find or borrow a steel flat and use prussian blue you might find the high spot is smaller than you think.

Your idea of mdf might work pretty well, but you’ll lose some cutting capacity. You might try to find some hdf (maybe laminate flooring?) in a real thin thickness. How were you planning to affix it to the fence?

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Stewbot

195 posts in 550 days


#2 posted 09-11-2015 01:21 PM

Your idea of mdf might work pretty well, but you ll lose some cutting capacity. You might try to find some hdf (maybe laminate flooring?) in a real thin thickness. How were you planning to affix it to the fence?

- Shadowrider


Thanks for the reply.

Hah! That’s a good question, I was looking for idea’s on how to do so. I’m unsure if doing such a thing was a common fix for this issue or not, I’m guessing not. If I took that route I was thinking a few ways. Maby drill through the cast, use a thicker material( I was thinking that stuff I see on table saw fences) counter sink the head of a threaded bolt if nothing else a through bolt, and fasten from the back. I understand cast iron is on the softer side? Im not sure if I want to drill holes through the cast,so I suppose I could make something to slip over the existing fence, or experiment with making a fence. But yes, any fix like this would compromise my 6” of table space. Luckily I’m not invested into the jointer too much and it gives me fair enough results for now for what I’m doing, but of course “fair enough” Isn’t optimum.
The measurements I gave were probably on the heavier side and my method of measuring the gap is probably not the most accurate technique, but the fence definitely does seem to have issues squaring the table along the entire length.
I’ve only had it a couple weeks and as I get more time using it I will further determine the intensity of the issue, but in the mean time I wanted to throw it out there to see what my options might be based on what others may have done.

-- Hoopty scoop?

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Shadowrider

183 posts in 675 days


#3 posted 09-11-2015 01:44 PM

Yes cast iron is easy to machine. Not as easy to cut as aluminum but it’s not real hard to work. Actually easier than aluminum to work in some cases because it doesn’t gum up your tools.

Another way that might get you into trouble with your wife. If you have granite countertops take it off, clean it well and put it face down on that. Use a feeler gage to see what’s going on with it. Flip it over and mark the areas with a felt tip pen. Stone the other areas until you get it close enough. You will need to stone, test, stone, test… Repeat until you get there, it can take some time doing it. If you can live with the loss of cut width you shimming a face board will be a good bit easier.

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#4 posted 09-11-2015 05:20 PM

Have you tried the “put on two 2×4’s and stomp” method?

Cheers,
Brad

PS: Yes, it’s a real method for fixing bowed and twisted fences, and many user manuals outline the procedure.

Edit: Just to save you some time, here is an example pulled from a Powermatic model 50 jointer manual:

Straightening Warped Fence:

The fence furnished with your jointer is a finished casting. Under certain conditions it is possible that the fence may become warped. If fence is high (bowed) in the center, remove fence and place face up on the floor on two 4” pieces of wood (2” x 4” blocks will suffice). Gently apply presure to the center of the fence with your foot increasing gradually until you feel the fence “give” slightly. Stop applying pressure as soon as you feel the fence “give” and check with a straight edge. The fence should be perfectly straight. Repeat if necessary.

If the fence is low on the center, place on the floor face down and repeat the above procedure – REMEMBER, stop when you feel the fince “give”.

Should your fence be twisted, the following steps will return it to its original shape. Clamp one end of the fence to a wood vice and sandwitch the other end between two 2” boards and gently “twist” the fence. When the fence “gives” stop applying pressure and check fence with a straight edge.

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#5 posted 09-11-2015 06:15 PM

.02” or .002”? Two thousandths is acceptable, and won’t translate to inaccuracies in your work. If it is really .02” then start by re-aligning your jointer beds for coplanar.
The wood whisperer is a good website for information on how to do this.

You don’t need to re-face the beds with mdf and shim etc., because you can adjust and shim the beds themselves. Your jointer has dovetail ways to allow this type of adjustment. While not as easy to adjust as a parallelogram style jointer, the dovetail way machines can be quite serviceable.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View splatman's profile

splatman

563 posts in 865 days


#6 posted 09-11-2015 06:29 PM

Would epoxy work?
There’s the idea: Take the fence off the machine, set it face up and level, apply tape around the edge, such that it makes a wall all around the perimeter of the fence, then mix and apply the epoxy the same way you would on a tabletop. Voila! A fence that’s flatter than a board. remove tape, sand/grind/shave off any sharp edges, and put it back on the machine.
For durability, adhere a piece of laminate flooring or sheet metal to the fence face. Double-stick tape will probably do the trick.

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#7 posted 09-11-2015 06:32 PM

I’d give the twisting trick a shot first but I wouldn’t worry too much if it didn’t work out or if it was left as is. I always keep pressure against the fence near the head any way.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Stewbot's profile

Stewbot

195 posts in 550 days


#8 posted 09-11-2015 06:32 PM

Shadowrider, Brad,

Thanks a lot for the replies. I’m not sure what will confuse my lady more, me grinding a big chunk of metal with a brick on the counter or jumping on a big chunk of metal clamped to some blocks of wood, If it comes to that I’ll report back. My first plan of attack will be to keep working with it a bit longer and see if the issue affects my humble little projects enough to warrant messing with the cast iron. If it’s not messing me up enough, I’m not gonna stress it, but if it does I’ll go from there. I’ve found some more threads about this issue on this site and others that I’ll reference some more, it sounds like people have had luck modifying twisted fences by attaching a stable material to the face.

on the other hand, Brad your post gave me an idea. Maby I’ll just paint it yellow write Powermatic on it and get the fence replaced, I’m pretty sure it’s still under warranty… ;)

-- Hoopty scoop?

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#9 posted 09-11-2015 06:34 PM

Runs some wood through it and see what happens with different techniques.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Stewbot

195 posts in 550 days


#10 posted 09-11-2015 06:53 PM

I was just in the middle of editing my post but lost it all when I came back to this page. Anyway, in a nutshell yes I am going to work with it a bit longer and see how my technique may contribute to any changes before I mess with anything too much, but wanted to get some advice/options should I decide it needs to be addressed after all. I’ve given it a tune up the other day, shimming in a couple spots and resetting the knives and since then it is cutting much better than when I first got it. I’ll go from there.

Thanks again for the replies.

-- Hoopty scoop?

View unbob's profile

unbob

718 posts in 1369 days


#11 posted 09-12-2015 01:18 AM

a quick fix would be to drill a few holes in the fence to attach a board face, then run it over the jointer to true it up. Seen more then one machine fixed that way.

View Shadowrider's profile

Shadowrider

183 posts in 675 days


#12 posted 09-12-2015 04:13 AM


a quick fix would be to drill a few holes in the fence to attach a board face, then run it over the jointer to true it up. Seen more then one machine fixed that way.

- unbob

Now see there? Sometimes it’s just too easy and flies right over our heads!

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#13 posted 09-12-2015 04:52 AM

That’s pretty good

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#14 posted 09-12-2015 11:59 AM

I think you’ve got the right idea: don’t stress over it, just use it a while and see what’s happening to your wood.
It may be a problem on thicker boards.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View splatman's profile

splatman

563 posts in 865 days


#15 posted 09-12-2015 04:32 PM

Use brass fasteners, to avoid the possibility of nicking the knives.

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